To the editor:
I normally prefer to engage in a discussion about the urban forest than to engage in a public discourse about politics, however the recent vitriolic diatribe from Mr. Donald Smith (“Ordinary people need to fight back,” Aug. 1) has tripped my switch and deserves a response.
Mr. Smith thinks the ordinary people should revolt and remove the political forces now in power. I should remind Mr. Smith that the results of the last election were in fact just that. The ordinary people resolved to oust the establishment politicos and elect a newcomer.
Rough around the edges he may be, but he knows how to run a business and would like to run the government like a business. He has little experience in running a government, but the people thought that would be a good thing.
The man he replaced had no experience in running a business and very little government experience — but the press ignored that shortcoming and was on board with any thing he said.
Mr. Smith forgets that the party in power then pushed through a health care program (behind closed doors) that no one understood and that the speaker of the house said, “It needs to be passed so we can know what is in it,” or words to that effect. I believe it to be the case that Mr. Trump’s predecessor also felt that the U.S. Constitution was an old obsolete document that had little relevance today.
Politics is a strange occupation and one that few people really understand if they have not been involved. I think (with no scientific validation) that most people grow up believing much like their parents in the political arena. I grew up in a divided house, my father being a Democrat and my mother being Republican. They seldom discussed politics at home, and rarely quarreled about it. Not to say they never had quarrels — in fact, they sometimes had some serious arguments but they were not about politics.
My father was once pressed into running for a local county office, as a Democrat, back when I was a pre-teen. He lost the election but his family supported him except for one of his sisters who said later, “I just could not vote for Johnny (my Dad), but I could not vote against him, so I just did not vote that office.” So much for family loyalty.
My first election, the year I turned 21, was a presidential year. I volunteered to work the polls that year, back when they still used paper ballots. Thank goodness this was a small precinct (Stinesville, Indiana). Eisenhower was elected president and that is the first time ever my Dad voted Republican.
Since that time I have always tried to vote for the best candidate, regardless of party, in the general election. Ironically they have mostly been Republican.
I did not directly participate in an election until I retired, at which time I volunteered to compete in a county commissioner race in Brown County, which I won. Based on my experience in that job I would say to Mr. Smith that it is not easy to serve if you are really dedicated to being the best you can be and do right even if the populace may disagree.
I was the minority on the commission, but we cooperated and did some good things during my term. It is easy to criticize, but if you do not have a solution to offer it is better to hold your tongue. As a member of the ruling organization, commissioner for instance, it is often necessary to compromise and to accept half of a loaf, if necessary, in order to make some progress.
I recommend everyone should try a public office at least once. It is a rewarding opportunity and a learning experience.
As to Mr. Smith, I hope he will find something to better occupy his time than writing critical and inciting letters that do not reflect his creed of “love thy neighbor.” I suspect that neither of us is probably qualified to determine the president’s ability to govern, but I am willing to give him a chance.
To my favorite subject, the Franklin urban forest is doing well. The recent floods did no major damage and only a couple of small areas remain to be planted with new trees which will happen this fall and next spring.
James R. Crane